by Nicholas Keung
Originally published: March 17, 2016
A major two-year study led by U of T researchers shows minority job applicants use Anglicized names, downplay ethnic experience in the hopes of landing a job.
It’s a disturbing practice called “resumé whitening” and involves deleting telltale signs of race or ethnicity from a CV in the hopes of landing a job.
And it happens more often than you’d think.
According to a two-year study led by University of Toronto researchers, as many as 40 per cent of minority jobseekers “whiten” their resumés by adopting Anglicized names and downplaying experience with racial groups to bypass biased screeners and just get their foot in the door.
It’s when “Lamar J. Smith” becomes “L. James Smith” or “Lei Zhang” morphs to “Luke Zhang” — and the callback rates soar.
“It’s really a wake-up call for organizations to do something to address this problem. Discrimination is still a reality,” said Sonia Kang, lead author of “Whitened Resumés, Race and Self-Presentation in the Labour Market,” to be released in the Administrative Science Quarterly Journal Thursday.
“It shows us that racial minorities aren’t just passively receiving this discrimination. They are trying to do something about it.”